A team of Mexican educational psychologists are building new toys for kids who are blind or visually impaired. The duo’s first toy is a wearable game called Smash-a-ball. It’s goal? To help children improve their cognitive development.
Smash-a-ball is still in the prototype stage, but the new toy will include a backpack and possibly a wrist wearable. The backpack provides tangible feedback and kids copy the pattern by hitting the appropriate buttons on the main board. Kids are encouraged to repeat the pattern as quickly and accurately as possible. Over time, the game will help improve a child’s spatial awareness, memory, reaction time and other key cognitive skills.
When these skills are improved, visually impaired children can better adapt to new places and avoid accidents in the classroom or while out on the streets.
The team started working on the game’s concept back in 2012, and are now taking to Kickstarter to raise £100,000 in crowdfunding to improve and finalize their prototype. Thus far, the team has developed three prototypes, including a working version that’s being tested. Through the feedback given from kids, teachers and parents, the team is rewriting their software to improve user-friendliness. New games will also be developed for the Smash-a-ball hardware to add to the toy’s functionality.
The team hopes to raise enough funds and get the toy in the hands of backers by September.